Led Zeppelin: Stairway To Heaven Meaning
Stairway To Heaven Lyrics
And she's buying a stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh, ooh, and she's buying a stairway to...
There has to be a reason why Kenneth Anger said that this was the "Most Santanic Song they've ever done". Surely. And he meant it as a kind of compliment. (Kind of back-handed, because he wanted Page to do the soundtrack to Lucifer Rising but fell out with him and used someone else instead.)
anonymous Jan 2nd, 2009 1:31am report
Aleister Crowley. Another thing that Crowley emphasized to his readers was that musicians in Magick would be able to be 'musical mediums'. When speaking of “Stairway to Heaven", Robert Plant claimed to be a 'musical medium'. He said the following about how he received the lyrics to the song: Plant recalled.
"“ ‘I was just sitting there with Pagey in front of a fire at Headley Grange. Pagey had written these chords and he played them for me. I was holding a pencil and paper and for some reason, I was in a very bad mood. Then all of a sudden my hand was writing out the words: “There’s a lady who’s sure, all that glitters is gold, and she’s buying a Stairway to Heaven.” I just sat there and I looked at the words and I almost leapt out of my seat.’”4
In 1998, the year when Page and Plant conducted their last world tour, Jimmy Page said the following (taken from the Atlantic Records web site): “When we first got back together, it was so immediately apparent that the two of us were just channeling the music. That’s what we had always had, and it was so apparent that it was there. It was almost effortless.”
When commenting on the production of the album with Stairway to Heaven on it, Page made the following statement in the January 2002 issue of Guitar World Magazine: “If something really magical is coming through, then you follow it....We tried to take advantage of everything that was being offered to us.” In their channeling of the music and lyrics to Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin presented the concept of worshiping the male/female godhead of the Qabalah, as taught to them by Aleister Crowley, believing that Lucifer is the god all over the world, irrespective of the name (except Christ), and that he has a female consort in the form of light. Understanding this occult belief, you will then understand these lyrics:
“There walks a lady we all know, who shines white light and wants to show….” (Lucifer's female consort!)
The god form that they want the rock fan to worship in the song is Pan the Piper, the Greek God of the forests, who again, was presented by Aleister Crowley in no uncertain terms as Lucifer the Piper, the maker of music. The Holy Bible teaches that God created Lucifer as the celestial composer of music, with celestial pipes, in Ezekiel chapter 28:13. Listen as God speaks to Lucifer:
"Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created." [Ezekiel 28:13]
The word, "pipes" (Strong's #5345) clearly refers to music and to the flute, as we see when we examine the context of this same word in other Old Testament Scriptures.
"And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them." [1 Kings 1:40]
The Parallel Bible, the Amplified portion, reiterates that the pipes are a musical instrument:
"All the people followed him; they played on pipes and rejoiced greatly so that the earth resounded with the joyful sound." [1 Kings 1:40]
Finally, Jeremiah records the definitive proof that "pipes" refers to a musical instrument:
"Therefore mine heart shall sound for Moab like pipes, and mine heart shall sound like pipes for the men of Kir-heres: because the riches that he hath gotten are perished." [Jeremiah 48:36]
The Amplified portion of the Parallel Bible again makes the meaning crystal clear:
"Therefore, My heart moans and sighs for Moab like flutes, and My heart moans and sighs like flutes for the men of Kir-heres; therefore, the remnant of the abundant riches they gained has perished." [Jeremiah 48:36]
From these verses, you can easily see that God is stating that He created Lucifer as a musical being in Ezekiel 28:13. In much occult lore, the Greek god, Pan, is this musical representation of Lucifer, the god of "pipes" -- the Piper.
The lyrics that promote this worship of Pan, in conjunction with the teaching of spiritual regeneration (spiritual rebirth – "born again Satanism") are as follows:
“And it’s whispered that soon, if we all call the tune, then the Piper will lead us to Reason. And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo with laughter.”
The appeal of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ as a musical piece is self-evident: its lyrics seemed to embody the individual’s prevailing quest for a spiritual rebirth.”5
In his biography of Led Zeppelin, “Hammer of the Gods – The Led Zeppelin Saga,” Steven Davis also wrote of the spiritual regeneration implicit in the lyrics to Stairway to Heaven:
“With its starkly pagan imagery of trees and brooks, pipers and the May Queen, shining white light and the forest echoing with laughter, ‘Stairway to Heaven’ seemed like an invitation to abandon the new traditions and follow the old gods. It expressed an ineffable yearning for spiritual transformation deep in the hearts of the generation for which it was intended. In time, it became their anthem.”6
Aleister Crowley wrote something identical to what Davis wrote in his Occult Encyclopedia of Initiation, “The Equinox”:
“‘ARCADIA, night, a cloud, Pan, and the moon.’ What words to conjure with, what five shouts to slay the five senses, and set a leaping flame of emerald and silver dancing about us as we yell them forth under the oaks and over the rocks and myrtle of the hill - side. ‘Bruised to the breast of Pan’ - let us flee church, and chapel, and meeting room; let us abandon this mantle of order, and leap back to the heaths, and the marshes, and the hills; back to the woods, and the glades of night! Back to the old gods, and the ruddy lips of Pan!…till the glades thrill as with the music of syrinx and sistrum, and our souls are rent asunder on the flaming horns of Pan.”7
The worship of Lucifer, in the form of Pan, was a theme through all of Aleister Crowley’s writings. Jimmy Page has always been an open student of Crowley the Black Magician, and Led Zeppelin was his band. Following the teachings of Crowley, Jimmy Page and company were successful in placing his doctrines in many of their songs
ALL IN ALL WHATS IMPORTANT IS THIS SONG IS SO WONDERFUL
anonymous Dec 18th, 2008 12:13am report
OK, its not about drugs, tolken or what ever. The song has no meaning really. My guess is there's this lady that just bought a palace and she things its heaven. but she gets to connected to it and she finds out its haunted. so she wants to move out but she cant. shes trapped. now shes a ghost. then the very last line "And she's buying a Stairway to heaven" means another lady is about to move into the palace and the cycle will be started up again. but that's my guess. Plant said it had no meaning and Page said it had no meaning. Hopefully this letter will shut all of you up. Why are you arguing about rock n' roll? its meant to be enjoyed.
anonymous Dec 7th, 2008 12:10pm report
This song means different things to different people. I believe that is what it was made for.
This song has a lot of meanings...i think that is about of drugs that make us feel happy and forget every pain...but even then there is the right road and whe can get it...About the lady,she is not the drugs but the addict who feels to much self-confidence.It talks to the passion for freedom and a life free ofn material things.It refers to the wanting to give up a
life of hardship and follow your heart.The realization that life is fleeting and you better get your shit together and care for others as well.Stop and listen to your heart for the answers to the trials of your life.This song is a poem
The "lady who's sure all that glitters is gold," and who later "shines white light and wants to show how everything still turns to gold," is an archetypal woman, found throughout lore and literature, who is trying to achieve a higher spirituality. She has the ability within her to realize that quest by using whatever means fulfill her spiritual longing, even if only for a time; once a means has served its spiritual purpose, or if it proves unfruitful - for her or for us, since the lyrics speak both to the woman and to us simultaneously - "there's still time to change the road you're on." It's about the individual's spiritual coming of age and maturation.
The song calls the listener to abandon modern modes of spiritual journeying and to return to the old gods. The symbolism within the lyrics makes this apparant, culling heavily from ancient Celtic imagery: the forest, the tree by the brook, the May Queen, the piper, the lady shining white
light - all are images from ancient Celtic religion. (One could, in fact, go on about the lines "If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now / It's just a spring clean for the May Queen" as signifying a girl's first
menstruation and its relationship to Beltane rituals; after all, Plant and Page did.) It's chronicled that Plant had been reading James Spence's book on Celtic magic at the time he wrote the lyrics to "Stairway to Heaven," and the
influence of that work on the song is manifest.
anonymous Nov 18th, 2008 11:34pm report
I always thought it was about the Lady Galadriel from the Lord of the Rings, but who am I?
PeacefulRuler Oct 19th, 2008 10:04pm report
All songs have meaning because they have words and words have meanings, whether an author intended a particular meaning or not is up to them because they chose the words. Now the circumstances or intent by the authors of this song to just pen what ever comes to mind does NOT change the meaning that can be ascribed to these lyrics. These lyrics are either true or false they either impart hope or despair because they communicate thought through words/lyrics. It matters what YOU think. It matter what YOU believe. In everything we do on this side of life there is reason and purpose, the problem with many people is that the purpose or reasons are not considered we just live our lives day to day and never consider OUR purpose or reason for what we chose to think and believe. This lyrics of this song inspire US to consider why we do what we do, and why we think or believe. Are we like the lady who is sure? Do we unknowingly follow a Piper. There are wonderful references in this great song that should inspire us to examine our thoughts, our actions, our purpose, our faith or lack of it, whether Jimmy or Robert intended it or not. Our shadows (spirits) taller than our soul (mind, will, emotions). Use your spirit to dissect what your hear, endeavor to understand what is spoken or sung. Is it true or a lie, does it give you hope or depress you? Embrace encouragement and cling to truth (Love, Hope, Faith) it is woven in and out of many poems and songs and speeches. Just don't be naive a good lie sounds like the truth and people or "others" will try to trick you or worse you can fool yourself, SO LISTEN VERY HARD, which mean TRY to understand, CHOSE the right path and certainly enjoy the good music along the way. We should know by now that all that glitters is not gold, and in some places gold does not have any value, find treasure that has eternal worth which is had through understanding your purpose in this life. Thank you for this thread and for reading this blog I hope it challenges you understand what hear so that the tune will come to you at last. Life has meaning find it.
anonymous Sep 13th, 2008 9:22pm report
I don't have time to read through every one of these posts but I did get to this one
"Dudes, enough, it has dawned on me that all the talk about different paths in this song can mean only one thing; to find your own meaning/rationalization. I love this song because it can be understood so differently, like a sonic Rorschach test. Stop taking it as one absolute meaning, many of which are just moronic and poorly thought out and just LOVE THE MUSIC!"
There are songs that are meant to have different meanings.Period. They are there for each and every person in his or her own way. They help the songwriter and they help you in your own way.
This is not the place for me to get on my soapbox but all the "Christians" who automatically think that this song is "Satanic" because it doesn't fit into your cookie cutter world are MORONS.
anonymous Sep 6th, 2008 9:43am report
I've come to the conclusion that there is no possible way page or plant meant to encode some "secret" message in this song. Not to say that it's not there, because I've heard it, and its pretty creepy. I believe that the most likely scenario (if there is anything to the message at all) is far scarier.
I've read many interpretations of the song by members of this site and some of them I have to discredit right away. There were a few people who COMPLETELY broke the song down line for line and explained a religious meaning. Although it was very interesting and well thought out, it's bogus. Page and Plant both admitted that the song really had no particular meaning and, honestly, I don't think Page would give it such a religious meaning since he is an admitted dabbler in the occult.
I believe maybe something far more sinister might have occurred during the production of this song. Have you ever heard that an idle mind promotes evil things?(or maybe something along those lines) it makes sense to me. being religious and righteous requires constant thought to prevent yourself from evil deeds. you must constantly guard yourself against the temptation of sinning. (narrow is the path, right?) so, it makes sense that if your mind is idle, it leaves more of a chance for "evil" to enter. when musicians talk about what its like being in a band and "jamming out", they talk about the "feel" and emotion involved. I recently watched a youtube video of jimmy page speaking about his experience with led zeppelin. He spoke of unity and of four musicians coming together and feeding from an unseen energy, or a "fifth member" as he put it. I don't mean to sound like some paranoid babbling Bible beater, but this is what happens when satanists and other occultists "channel" energies or spirits or whatever. They are completely caught up in the moment(so to speak) and find themselves prodigiously stimulated by an unseen force. I don't think musicians TRY to channel this energy, it just happens. probably without them knowing. I mean, satan (or lucifer, as an angel) was the ruler of music, right? this is why some churches don't partake in musical sessions. don't' get me wrong, I love music and I am a musician, myself. but, how many times do you think music has shaped worldly youth in a negative manner? if there is any satanic influence applied to "stairway to heaven", I think it probably comes from satan himself. I don't think the writers of the song had evil intentions, even though page was somewhat of an occultist. The writers have already said that the song didn't really have a meaning, it's basically just poetry. but, in my interpretation, the song can only have a negative message, in a religious sense. I do believe the opening of the song refers to a woman who plans to kill herself by overdose. "there's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold" to me implies that she does not see the true meaning behind things. all that glitters is not gold, this is the basic principle behind sinning. Sinning feels beautiful to the sinner, if it did not, there would be no temptation. was lucifer not God's most beautiful angel? Buying a stairway to heaven clearly refers to the purchase of drugs for overdose. The next lines secure the idea: "when she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed, with a word she can get what she came for" does that not sound like a drug deal? it insinuates that she is not coming for something to be purchased in a store, rather something she can get with one word. I'm not going to break down every line for the sake of brevity, but I would like to discuss other points. for instance, later on in the song they bring the lady back into the picture and speak of her shining white light and wanting to show how everthing still turns to gold. Insinuating that she made the right choice and wants to show all the path.
I also think the piper refers to satan. "your head is humming and it won't go", refers to the constant temptation from satan to sin. ("the piper's calling you to join him") someone in a previous passage made reference to the book of Ephesians and the apostle Paul stating that the spirits of those who are against God are of the air("you're stairway lies on the whispering wind", refering to the lady in the opening, who eventually shines white light) and why are our shadows taller than our souls when we meet this redeemed lady? maybe our souls are small and meaningless at the end of this path that leads us to this lady shining her "white light".
Anyway, like I said, it may just be a song without meaning, shrouded in controversy. but if not, I think its some pretty eerie stuff.
anonymous Aug 31st, 2008 8:06pm report
If you listened to the "backwards message" but nobody told you what it said, you wouldn't think anything of it. Backwards jibberish could be made to sound like anything, so don't get too worked up, ok? Great song, though!
anonymous Aug 18th, 2008 8:02pm report
Ok I know you are all gonna hate me for this, and I don't entirely believe this is what it's about myself, but just for kicks, listen to the song and think 'hitman'
anonymous Aug 2nd, 2008 8:05pm report
About all the backwards talk: It's bound to happen. The chance isn't high to happen in a song, but put any number of words randomly after each other and play it back words, some of them have a feeble impression of giving a satanic message..
If you don't believe this, I suggest you read up on chance calculations :)
anonymous Jul 29th, 2008 7:24am report
A rock journalist, a woman, had some dirt on the band - damaging stuff - and was ready to come out with it against them in exchange for some exclusive material.
"stairway to heaven" is merely a contemplation of all the trappings of being a rock star from the perspective of a celebrity constantly referring back to this journalist and the potential damage to the band.
the "lady" is the journalist. The "stairway" is the connections to the rich and famous. The "stores" that are "closed" are the bands potential refusal to play ball. The "songbird" in a "tree by a brook" is, perhaps, a groupie, someone off "the mainstream" so to say who has the damaging information and is prepared to speak. "sometimes all of are thoughts are misgiven" is a reference to the fact that a representation of the band would be published in this vindictive nature, impacting the general consensus as such. "the west" is the usa. "rings of smoke" are groups of zeppelin fans. "those who stand looking" are those who assume the band will influence its fans into a similar lifestyle suggested by the journalist - basically the parents of children.
etc.. So forth.. This is getting too long. I think you get the point.
anonymous Jul 22nd, 2008 7:07pm report
I was told that this song was about a lady who was crazy because she thought all that glittered was gold and stuff...
More Led Zeppelin song meanings »
Submit Your Interpretation
Related Blog Posts
|Kiss From a Rose||anonymous|
|Somebody to Love||anonymous|
|A Little Too Much||anonymous|
|Blow at High Dough||Songster|
|Lost In The Moment||anonymous|
|Ghost Of You||anonymous|